May 222006

From CNN: Gonzales: U.S. could track reporters’ phone calls:

But he added that the First Amendment right of a free press should not be absolute when it comes to national security. If the government’s probe into the NSA leak turns up criminal activity, prosecutors have an “obligation to enforce the law.” 

“It can’t be the case that that right trumps over the right that Americans would like to see, the ability of the federal government to go after criminal activity,” Gonzales said on ABC’s “This Week.”

I must have missed a part of our constitution where it said that the federal government can overrule selected portions when pursuing criminal activity. Let’s double check the first amendment to see if there is an exception:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

I don’t believe it can be called a “right” to have “the federal government go after criminal activity.” The beautiful nature of our constitution is that it limits the actions our government can take while still preserving our rights and protecting our society. If we start to selectively ignore parts of our constitution, we risk a descent into totalitarianism.

Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” I feel there is an important corollary: those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety will receive neither liberty nor safety.

 Posted by at 12:25 am
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